Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 14

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 14
Caris LeVert, David Lee, Sam Dekker, Raymond Felton and Iman Shumpert are some of the players you should be looking to pick up in fantasy hoops.
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DeAngelo Williams contributed 34 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries while absorbing all seven of his targets for 51 yards Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

Williams took over as the lead back after Le’Veon Bell went down with a groin injury late in the first quarter. D-Will offered a handful of nice runs including a five-yard touchdown dash in the second quarter, but was mostly bottled up against a stout Patriots’ run defense. He fell flat in the second half, recording just 10 yards on six carries after halftime. Williams made up for his lack of rushing success by playing an important role in the passing game, though none of it was enough to top a New England team that came ready to play on Sunday. It’s unclear what the future holds for Williams. He’s the oldest back in the NFL at age 33, but showed he still has something left in the tank by rushing for 258 yards during Bell’s three-game suspension earlier this season. The impending free agent may have one year left in him.
Jan 22 - 11:18 PM

Le'Veon Bell rushed six times for 20 yards and wasn't targeted in the passing game Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

Bell exited with a left groin injury late in the first quarter. He returned later in the half before leaving again on the same drive. Bell remained in uniform for the duration of the game, though it was pretty obvious he wasn’t coming back in. He ended up playing just 11 snaps while ceding workhorse duties to DeAngelo Williams. It was a disappointing end to a marvelous year for the fourth-year back. Bell is headed for free agency but the Steelers have made it clear they plan to give him the franchise tag if the two sides are unable to hammer out a long-term deal. You could make an argument for taking Bell first overall in fantasy drafts next summer, though Arizona’s David Johnson is also in that conversation.
Jan 22 - 10:51 PM

Ben Roethlisberger completed 31-of-47 passes for 314 yards with one touchdown and one interception Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

Roethlisberger matched Tom Brady punch for punch in the first half, completing 16-of-22 passes for 136 yards before the break. New England pulled away in the second half however and Roethlisberger couldn’t do much to stop the bleeding. Roethlisberger didn’t have much success throwing deep, often settling for check-downs to Jesse James and slants over the middle to Eli Rogers. His fourth-quarter interception was nowhere close to his intended target. Roethlisberger redeemed himself by throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to Cobi Hamilton on the following drive, but it was too little too late. It didn’t end the way he would have liked, but Roethlisberger was still pretty darn good this year, even with a relatively thin receiving corps. It would be a huge boost to Roethlisberger and the entire passing game if suspended wideout Martavis Bryant returns to start opposite Antonio Brown next season.
Jan 22 - 10:46 PM

Antonio Brown pulled in seven-of-nine targets for 77 yards Sunday in the Steelers' AFC Championship Game loss to the Patriots.

As expected, Brown drew shadow coverage from Malcolm Butler whenever he was lined up outside. The Steelers were wise to shuffle Brown around the formation and he made a few nice plays out of the slot. Brown was a little sluggish in the first half but got going late with four catches for 51 yards after halftime. It wasn’t the ending he had hoped for, but the 2016 season proved once again that Brown is a rare talent and one of the most consistent receivers in all of football. He probably won’t go first overall like he did in most leagues last summer, but Brown remains a consensus top-five pick in all fantasy formats.
Jan 22 - 10:44 PM

Dion Lewis tallied 11 yards on six carries while securing both of his targets for eight yards Sunday in the Patriots' AFC Championship Game win over the Steelers.

Lewis emerged as New England’s clear lead back last week but played fewer snaps than both LeGarrette Blount and James White Sunday against Pittsburgh. New England’s run game was nonexistent until the second half and at that point the Patriots mostly leaned on Blount to kill clock. No team is more game-plan-dependent than the shape-shifter Patriots. We’ll see what they cook up against Atlanta in Super Bowl XLI.
Jan 22 - 10:23 PM

James White carried the ball once for no gain while catching three-of-four targets for eight yards Sunday in the Patriots' AFC Championship Game win over the Steelers.

During the regular season, White finished third among running backs in both catches (60) and receiving yards (551). However, he’s had a hard time carving a role for himself since Dion Lewis returned from knee surgery. He only played two fewer snaps than LeGarrette Blount on Sunday but was out-touched 17-4. At the very least, White will mix in on passing downs when he suits up against the Falcons in Super Bowl XLI.
Jan 22 - 10:20 PM

Malcolm Mitchell nabbed just one-of-four targets for five yards Sunday in the Patriots' AFC Championship Game win over the Steelers.

Mitchell’s only catch came on the Patriots’ opening drive. On that same possession, Mitchell dropped a pass on third down, forcing New England to settle for a field goal. He was only targeted twice more after that. Mitchell was understandably rusty coming off a month-long absence. The fourth-round rookie will look to redeem himself against the Falcons in Super Bowl XLI.
Jan 22 - 10:18 PM

Martellus Bennett secured all five of his targets for 32 yards Sunday in the Patriots' AFC Championship Game win over the Steelers.

Bennett did well to catch all of his targets but took a backseat to Chris Hogan and Julian Edelman as those two combined for 298 of New England’s 384 passing yards. It was reported Sunday that Bennett has been playing with a cracked bone and bone spurs in his ankle and will likely need surgery after the season. He’ll get one more game in before he goes under the knife. That will come two weeks from now when the Patriots square off against the Falcons in Super Bowl XLI.
Jan 22 - 10:16 PM
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